WHAT IS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE TO HAVE THEM?
When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”. I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?
The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.
Often, when people refer to having a nervous breakdown, they’re describing severe depression.
Signs and symptoms of severe depression include:
~~ Agitation or restlessness
~~ Difficulty or inability to stop crying
~~ Sleeping difficulties
~~ Dramatic appetite changes
The causes of mental illness usually aren’t clear. But these factors may play a role:
~~ Drug and alcohol use
~~ Coexisting medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders and certain vitamin deficiencies